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Blessed is He Who Expects Nothing Meaning
Definition: If you do not expect good things to happen, you will not be disappointed when they fail to happen.
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Someone who goes into a situation with high expectations or specific expectations might end up leaving that event without those expectations being fulfilled. However, someone who is without expectation has an open mind. He will not have to deal with the disappointment of things not turning out as planned.
This saying commends people for having a laid-back attitude rather than trying to control or manipulate situations.
Origin of Blessed is He Who Expects Nothing
Alexander Pope wrote this line in the style of the Bible as if it were the ninth “Beatitude” added on to the eight given by Jesus. The biblical Beatitudes describe the types of traits that are blessed and why they are blessed.
They are found in the Gospel of Matthew and they are,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:3)Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6)Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9)Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)
Alexander Pope famously wrote this line in a letter to John Gay saying,
I have many years magnify’d in my own mind, and repeated to you a ninth Beatitude, added to the eight in the Scripture: Blessed in he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
Examples of Blessed is He Who Expects Nothing
Oftentimes, people today are given the advice to constantly set goals for events. A person may walk into a party with the goal of finding a man to date. A person may go to a networking event with the goal of finding a new job. Another person may take a puppy on a walk and expect it to remain silent throughout the entire exercise. Each of these people may be unhappy if their goals are not achieved.
However, an individual who goes to a party or walks a dog and is simply present in the moment, with no alternative goal, might say, “Blessed is he who expects nothing” because he knows he will have a decent time regardless of whether or not he meets someone or whether the dog is quiet.
The English proverb blessed is he who expects nothing meanings having low or no expectations prevents disappointment.